From Rourke: Below is an excellent account that shows how people come into a sense of entitlement and deserving of things not earned. Thanks to Brad M for sending it in.
How did it start?
When I was in elementary school I was having trouble coming up with an idea for my science project and my friend had come up with two ideas. I convinced him the one I didn’t want to do was better so he did that one. I did his other one, and got an A. He got a B+.
I joined The Boy Scouts when I was 11 and it was a blast. I got to go camping and always had a great buddy that was very skilled in all areas of the outdoors. They always seemed happy to do the stuff I was unsure of. I remember that I had to get my Eagle before I was 16 or I couldn’t get my driver’s license, and my 16th birthday was getting close. I never understood why it was so important to have all of those merit badges and when they told me I was missing a couple I was very disappointed. I was pretty sure I must have done enough stuff that it would equal those badges so I bought a couple of blank merit badge cards and filled them out. I turned in the part I would have kept to my new leader and told him I had done them at one of the camps and they must have lost the paperwork at the scout office. They got me some “Replacement” badges and took care of the lost papers so I was able to get my License. That was a close one.
When I was in High School I needed to write a paper, but putting the subject into words was hard so I found one on the internet that I liked. I didn’t want to be accused of cheating so I changed some of the wording, and found some other references that matched up so that it was more original. Then I found some pictures that would enhance the data in the report on the internet so I cut and pasted them into my report. A few had some names and source data on them that didn’t look good so I cropped that stuff out and submitted it. I got a B on that one, but I was happy with that and it was pretty easy. This same process was very helpful on other projects and papers too, and if something isn’t broken, don’t fix it, right? After all it saved me so much time.
I got a job at a convenience store while in High School that paid me some money and wasn’t hard to do. My coworkers were a hard working bunch so things always seemed to get done. One day one of my coworkers had an idea on how to reduce money lost on things like the donuts that didn’t sell, or hot food that was getting close to overcooked by marking them down so that people would buy them instead of having to throw them out. I thought it was a good idea so I told my boss about it and they liked it. Not long after I was promoted to be the assistant manager. This was a great job and did it while going through College. Since I was the Assistant Manager I was able to have my employees do the work I didn’t like to do, and they were able to cover the front desk while I was able to manage from the office in the back. It was fun to be able to catch up on my blog, watch them in the security camera, and read magazines at work. I really liked the magazines we had there, and since they were just sitting out there on the racks, I could just grab the ones I liked and take them into the back to read. Then I could put them back in the rack when I was done, and someone would buy them so it was a win / win. There was one time that I spilled my nachos on one, and that one had to be thrown away because we couldn’t sell it. It was only one magazine so no big deal.
I finished college a B average and I remember making my graduation announcements. I got some great artwork off of the internet and using a program I had downloaded from a file sharing site was able to make them really professional looking. The program would have cost about seven hundred dollars, which I couldn’t afford, so being able to rip it from the torrent site was a huge win for me. Why pay for it, if you can get it for free right? After all the company makes so much money from all of the people that buy it anyway. It’s not like they are going to notice.
My first job out of college was pretty cool! I couldn’t believe how much money I was getting paid for what I did. I sat in an office all day, and when I got a project I would go discuss it with my team and get ideas on how to get it done. If it was a project I didn’t want to do, I would find a way to hand it off to one of my coworkers and they would do it. My coworkers were great helpers too. I remember showing my projects to different people and they would look them over and give me their opinions on it. Since they had been working for our boss for so long, they knew what the boss would like better so I always would use their ideas to make my projects better. It wasn’t long before once again I was promoted over my team. They were surprised, but hey once it was announced what could they say? I was the new boss to them. There were times that I was grateful to have a team of employees under me too. Their job was to back me up, and there were times that when my boss didn’t like my project they had to take the heat for not helping me make it better. I always hated to have to reprimand them, but if I was getting heat for my projects, then the team was not doing its job. We had quite a bit of turnover when that happened because I only wanted the best employees doing my projects.
One time I remember being called into the HR office because some images I had grabbed off of the internet in a project were copyrighted and they were worried that it could cause a problem if we got caught. I told them that I would discuss this with my team so it wouldn’t happen anymore. I was very careful to be sure that the images I used in the future didn’t have the copyright symbol on them and any links were removed so that those wouldn’t be caught again. That was a weird and close call, but didn’t see the problem. That is how it is done.
A couple of years later I got fired from that job. I was really shocked. They accused me of not respecting other people’s intellectual property. What a joke. I was mad so I cashed out my vacation and 401k to live on until I could find a job that appreciated my hard work.
After 6 months of looking I still had not found another job. My unemployment was running out, I had exhausted my retirement and savings accounts. It just wasn’t fair. I was even thinking of looking at ways I could qualify for disability to make ends meet. I figure that I have done a lot in my life and deserve to have people take care of me for a bit. After all there is so much money that goes into programs to help folks, and after all they are there to help us.
After another month with no job I figured that I could claim a back injury and get disability. It seemed so easy why not, so I did it. It was so cool to be able to stay at home and relax, and get a check twice a month for my disability. Since I was disabled it was easy to file for bankruptcy so I didn’t have to pay back the money I had owed to credit cards and such. I started the process in December and it was all over and done with by the end of January. It was like an easy winter project. Without all of that debt, the disability checks went a lot further. I didn’t know why everyone didn’t do this, after all those big companies get so much from us that we deserve to get a little back from them.
One day in the early spring just after I had finished tilling my garden, two men came into my back yard. They identified themselves as Police Officers and told me I was being arrested for fraud. I almost laughed. I couldn’t understand what they meant. They said I wasn’t really disabled and by collecting disability I was committing fraud. They took me to the jail and booked me into it.
I am just very confused. I only did what I have been doing all my life:
- · Taking credit for others efforts
- · Taking credit for others ideas.
- · Living off of other people’s labor and money.
- · Not taking responsibility for my actions, but blaming others instead.
- · Stealing things that don’t belong to me.
- · Expecting others to take care of me.
Why is this wrong?
Why didn’t someone ever tell me it was wrong?
Where did I go wrong?
When did it all start?
Again this is fictional and the characters above are based upon no living, previously living, or zombified persons or animals. Also no animals were hurt, abused, or even thought about during the creation of this piece.
I wasn’t thinking of submitting this for publication, but if you wanted to post it, you have my permission to. The inspiration of this piece is from a thought I had:
When the world is run at the pleasure of those ‘servants’ who produce nothing, only to ensure that they may continue producing nothing, then are we starting a long downward spiral.
It will only be when those in power need their ‘servants’ to start producing, so that they are able to maintain their power and comforts, that the ‘servants’ will finally start to awaken and see that they have been complicit in the demise of their freedoms.
No Brad – thank YOU!